Department of Psychiatry

Penn Behavioral Health

Our History

bikersThe Center for Weight and Eating Disorders was founded by Albert J. Stunkard, M.D., over 45 years ago to better understand the causes of weight and weight-related disorders.

Dr. Stunkard, an internationally renowned scholar, directed the program's (formerly the Obesity Research Group) research efforts and remains an active and integral member of the group today.

The current director, Thomas A. Wadden, Ph.D., came to the University of Pennsylvania in 1981 and is a preeminent authority on the treatment of overweight, binge eating, and related problems.

Under Dr Wadden's leadership, our group continues to conduct a wide variety of studies on the causes and treatment of weight-related disorders.

More recently, the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders has begun to offer professional services to the general public rather than only to participants in research studies.

In Memoriam, Albert J. "Mickey" Stunkard 
February 7, 1922 - July 12, 2014 

The New York Times marked the recent passing of Albert J. Stunkard, MD, former chair of Psychiatry and professor emeritus at Penn.

Dr. Albert (Mickey) Stunkard was world renowned for his pioneering research on the causes, consequences, and treatment of obesity. He began his career at the University of Pennsylvania in 1957 and was a highly energetic and productive investigator at the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders.

His outstanding research and dedication to patient care were recognized by numerous awards, including his election to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. The University of Pennsylvania similarly sought to honor him with the creation of the Albert J. Stunkard Weight Management Program.

Back to Top